At NXT TakeOver 31, former NXT UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm shocked the wrestling world when she appeared on the video screen inside the WWE Capitol Wrestling Center to announce that she was coming to the black and gold brand.
Her appearance came at the conclusion of the NXT Women’s Championship Match which saw Io Shirai retain her gold against challenger, Candice LeRae.
Now, Toni Storm has sat down with Mike Johnson of PWInsider to discuss her time away from the squared circle, her contribution to NXT UK and what the future holds for the Australian sensation in her new home.
Without a doubt, one of Toni Storm’s biggest storylines in NXT UK came against real-life chum Kay Lee Ray in 2019. Not only was the tale of a friendship turned sour the very best thing to happen to the NXT UK Women’s Championship since its inception, but it arguably brought out the best of Storm in the run-up to their bout at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff.
When questioned about the enmity, the star had this to say:
“It was brutal…brutal definitely was the word for it, and it did affect me a lot mentally. Kay Lee Ray legitimately was one of my best friends. When I first moved to the UK that was the girl that took me under her wing, she showed me the ropes, she showed me how it worked up there, she did a lot for me, she was a very dear friend to me, we’ve had a lot of good times, we’ve traveled the world together, and then like, to see that all fall apart, it broke me a lot, next thing I know, she’s dumping a chair over my neck and people are begging me to say I quit, like it did a lot…it messed with me a lot, legitimately, but I’m happy I got past that, I was able to still get up after all that torture and go no, I’m gonna keep going, I’m gonna do big things and yeah, I just thought you know what? If I can’t compete for the title again, I’m gonna go somewhere else where I can – regardless, I’m gonna be a champ somewhere, sometime, that’s just how it works.”
Returning to the squared circle after considerable time away, Storm has only one thing on her mind and that is gold. Now she can no longer challenge for the NXT UK Women’s Championship while Kay Lee Ray dominates the division, Storm spoke about her intentions towards the top prize in NXT and the woman who holds it.
“Yeah, I just think it adds a lot more excitement to the mix and like, I’m up for the challenge. She didn’t know that I was going to be returning, I didn’t know that she was going to be returning. That just kinda made it all the more exciting I think, and obviously she’s gonna want to be going after Io but everyone’s trying to go after Io and like, the difference with me is I’ve already beaten Io before, I know exactly how to do it, I know where all her weaknesses are and so I’m pumped, I’m ready.”
Storm has appeared on NXT previously, competed at World Collide earlier this year when she challenged Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship and appeared on Team NXT at the 2019 WWE Survivor Series alongside Ripley, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai and Bianca Belair.
Though it’s unknown when Toni Storm will step onto the NXT stage, one thing is clear. Not only is she ready to pick up where she left off, but Toni time is beginning again.
Credit for the interview: Mike Johnson/PWInsider
h/t for the transcript: Wrestlezone